Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
If I was putting together a gameplan for Diego it would be to come forward with a double jab and to throw it stiff and often. Thiago doesn't like pressure because it interferes with his ability to use his best weapon, the low kicks, and the jab in his face might give him something to think about other than the obviously impending shot. If Diego can ever get his mind wandering to the jab and maybe a lunging overhand he can change levels or clinch and try to muscle things to the mat.
If I'm looking at a plan for Thiago, it's to continuously circle and resist the urge to start kicking, counter Diego's southpaw jab with the right straight, and stay outside only throwing the vaunted low kicks when you've got Sanchez on the end of that right hand and he's not coming forward. If it goes to the clinch the idea is to pummel for underhooks, use the superior size to put Sanchez in the fence, and then go straight to the plum and knees and separate quickly if he's not down from the first couple shots. Distance is key.
I give this one to Alves, but it should be extremely exciting so long as it isn't over within the first couple of minutes. Diego is a great grappler and he's extremely aggressive and effective with his GnP, but his wrestling is a bit subpar for the wrestler-heavy WW division and that's been his biggest problem so far. His striking has improved a lot, but the improvements he showed against Luigi aren't going to mean shit against Alves because Thiago can bang and he's leagues ahead of Diego in terms of technique.
Wrestling will be the key here and if Diego isn't able to at least get Thiago's attention with his strikes I don't think he has a chance. Alves' sprawl has progressively gotten better and Diego's just lacks the wrestling technique to get him on his back without really setting his shots up. He's also looking at what I expect to be a hefty size disadvantage which will make that task of putting Alves on his back even tougher.
Suizida tried to tell me that Jardine's Techno viking monkey style was too much for Vera's overhyped skills but i was to busy nuthugging to listen to 'the truth'